The Watershed Lab at CGU

Spencer Chad, MSc candidate College of Engineering, and Dyan Pratt, MOST Research Engineer, attended this years CGU conference held in Vancouver.... (full story)

Paper - Wetland to Surface Water Connectivity

The Paper Titled: Quantifying hydrologic connectivity of wetlands to surface water systems, written by lab member Ali A. Ameli and Irena F. Creed... (full story)

Lab Visitors

University of Georgia Students Visit the Watershed Hydrology Lab... (full story)

Hillslope Freeze-up

Cross Sectional Video of a Hillslope Freeze-Up at MOST... (full story)

MOST - Infiltration into Frozen Ground

Check out this video from MOST showcasing freeze cycles and infiltration into frozen ground.... (full story)

Portable Mass Spectrometer

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is developing a Portable Mass Spectrometer.... (full story)

Snowmelt at MOST

Over at the MOST facility spring has arrived!... (full story)

Hillslope Testing

Over at the MOST facility hillslope testing prior to freeze up is underway and the lab crew is busy collecting data. Air permeability on the left and tension infiltration on the right.... (full story)

Paper - Mineral Mediated Isotope Fractionation

The paper titled: Mineral mediated isotope fractionation of soil water, published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, can be accessed here.... (full story)

Mobile Soil Water

PhD student Jaivime Evarsito, was able to catch a glimps of some extemely mobile soil water.... (full story)

Paper - Hillslope Hydrogeochemistry

Ameli, A., K. Beven, M. Erlandsson, I. Creed, J.J. McDonnell and K. Bishop. (2017), Primary weathering rates, water transit times, and concentration-discharge relations: A theoretical analysis for the critical zone, Water Resources Research, 52, doi:101002/2016WR019448.... (full story)

EGU - Session Hydro-bio-geo-chemical Connectivity

Hydro-bio-geo-chemical connectivity, scaling and impacts along the land to ocean continuum HS2.3.7/BG9.61/OS3.6... (full story)

EGU Session - Stable Water Isotopes

For those interested, there will be a sesson titled "Stable water isotope tracer dynamics in the soil-plant-atmoshphere continuum" HS8.3.7 at the 2017 meeting in Vienna, April 23-28.... (full story)

Paper - Apple Trees Using Old Water

The paper titled: Tritium analysis shows apple trees may be transpiring water several decades old, was accepted by HP and can be found here.... (full story)

Saskatoon as Canada's Healthiest City

A study by the Conference Board of Canada compared 24 indicators that ranked Saskatoon number one. The study grouped the indicators into four categories: Life Satisfaction; Population Health; Healthy Lifestyle; and Access to Health Care Services. The study noted that "Saskatoon's streght lies in a first-place ranking in the life satisfaction category and placing in the top four in two others" (Conference Boad of Canada, City Health Monitor. Briefing 2016).... (full story)

Lab members present at AGU

PhD students Chris Gabrielli and Anna Coles, postdoc Natalie Orlowski, and the lab's research engineer, Dyan Pratt, all presented their research at last week's American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. It was a great week of sharing our lab's research, chatting about all things hydrology, and catching up with lab alumni, friends, and colleagues.... (full story)

Two Successful PhD Defences

The McDonnell lab has recently had two PhD candidates successfully defend!... (full story)

Spectral Analysis in Hydrology

In November, Ali Ameli, a postdoc in the lab, developed and taught a new graduate short course “Spectral Analysis in Hydrology” at the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan. Several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows participated in the course, which focused on the application of spectral methods and spectral analysis in hydrology, hydrogeology and geomorphology fields.... (full story)

Jaivime's paper still making waves

Jaivime's paper still making waves... (full story)

New graduate program at the UofS: Master of Water Security

The School of Environment and Sustainability, here at the University of Saskatchewan, has just launched a new graduate program - the Master of Water Security (MWS). The masters is project-based and can be completed in 12 months of study. It aims to provide training in water security from an interdisciplinary angle. This exciting new initiative will start taking students in September 2016. Click on the factsheet below for more information:... (full story)

Jaivime’s Nature paper

Our many congratulations to second-year PhD student Jaivime Evaristo on his paper that was published last week in Nature! The paper, which you can read here, documents global-wide evidence that appears to support the theory that soil water is compartmentalized ( ‘two water worlds’) into water used by plants and water that recharges streams. The paper has garnered some attention in local and scientific media outlets, eg. in usask,, BioPortfolio, UCalgary, and Oregon State.... (full story)

Announcing the new Mine Overlay Site Testing Facility (MOST)

Last week, we were pleased to be able to announce the Mine Overlay Site Testing Facility (MOST). The MOST facility (currently being constructed on the University of Saskatchewan campus) aims to research and improve designs for mine waste cover systems. MOST is a collaborative effort between industry, research and consultants.  See the following news articles from the local press:... (full story)

Cryogenic Water Extraction - Worldwide Lab Intercomparison Project

Many labs benefit from cryogenic water extractions for the analysis of δ2H and δ18O isotopic signatures for different purposes. Some determine plant water uptake depth, others examine soil water movements. Nevertheless, despite the operational use of cryogenic extraction, artifacts leading to uncertain isotopic signatures, and thus, potentially doubtful conclusions, were often observed.... (full story)

Anna's European visit

Anna has just returned from a 1-month visit to Luxembourg and the UK.... (full story)

B2 - Tropical Rainforest Drought Experiment 2014

This past summer, Jaivime (PhD student) worked with other students and staff at the University of Arizona's Biosphere 2 experimental rainforest facility, testing whether the isotope composition of the soil and trees are different from the stream and sub-soil drainage in the B2 rainforest. The B2 facility allowed the group the ability to test how plants might adjust their water uptake strategies through a controlled drought. For a more detailed summary of the experiment please see the following l... (full story)

Jeffrey McDonnell Elected to AGU Council

Congratulations go out to Jeff on his election to the American Geophysical Union council! ... (full story)

Marijn has left the freezer lab

Today we said farewell to Marijn, as she jetted off on a great trip around BC and the west coast. Marijn has been leading some freezer lab experiments on infiltration rates into frozen soils of varying water contents. The set up consisted of a set of large undisturbed soil cores, which we extracted from our Swift Current research site. Marijn instrumented the cores with soil moisture sensors and thermocouples and, during simulated freeze-thaw cycles typical of the spring melt, melted a pack of s... (full story)

Chris Gabrielli Recipient of AGU Horton Research Grant

Congratulations to Chris Gabrielli, who has been awarded the American Geophysical Union's Horton Research Grant. The Horton Research Grant is awarded to PhD students to promote excellence through encouragement of the next generation of professionals in the hydrological sciences. Chris will be applying his grand toward his work on catchment scale bedrock groundwater dynamics in the Miamai research site in New Zealand.... (full story)

Jaivime awarded innovation scholarship

Congratulations are in order for Jaivime, who has been awarded a $10,000 Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship for his PhD research. The scholarships are awarded to graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan whose research advances understanding in the fields of water security and environmental sustainability. Fantastic news, Jaivime!... (full story)

Virtual event on 'Social Media Opportunities for Water Leaders'

On behalf of the Canadian Water Network’s Students and Young Professionals committee, Scott is organizing a virtual event entitled Social Media Opportunities for Water Leaders. This free, online and water-orientated event will be held this Wednesday (April 23rd) at 2pm ET. Dr. Michael Campana of Oregon State University will lead the discussions. It’s not to be missed!... (full story)

Lab posters for World Water Day

Anna (grad student category) and Willemijn (postdoc category) both won first place at the World Water Day poster competition, held March 21st in Saskatoon. Anna presented results of her analysis into the controls on snowmelt runoff generation in semi-arid, low-angled terrain; while Willemijn presented her modelling results of the spatial patterns of groundwater recharge. The event was sponsored and hosted by the Global Institute for Water Security and Canadian Water Resources Association. Congra... (full story)

Lab trip to Biosphere 2, Arizona (continued 2...)

Our two weeks at Biosphere 2 in Arizona have now come to an end. Our capillary fringe experiment in mini LEO unfortunately had to be delayed, but Luke is planning to have it back up and running to continue the experiment next week. We’re keen to see how it goes from afar and pitch in for a group analysis and discussion of the results soon.... (full story)

Hiking the Grand Canyon

Here’s another update on the lab’s trip to Arizona (see last week’s posts here and here). We took the weekend to see some more of this part of the world, which of course meant a trip to the Grand Canyon (5 hours’ drive north of Biosphere 2)! We parked up at Grand Canyon village on the south rim of the canyon, which was in snow and sub-zero temperatures. From there, we hiked down 6000 feet (1800 meters) to the very bottom of the canyon. Saturday night was spent camping at ... (full story)

Lab trip to Biosphere 2, Arizona (continued...)

We’re hard at work down here at Biosphere 2 (while also enjoying the delights of an unseasonably warm Arizonan January).... (full story)

Lab trip to Biosphere 2, Arizona

On Sunday, Anna, Chris, Jaivime and Willemijn flew to Arizona to begin a two-week stay at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 facility. We’re teaming up with Peter Troch and colleagues to run some experiments on their recently constructed Landscape Evolution Observatory – a collection of three artificial 360 m2 hillslopes. The facility is offering a great opportunity for us to explore some common research questions concerning the potential importance of the capillary fringe... (full story)

New PhD student, Jaivime, working in ecohydrology

We kicked off the new year in the lab by welcoming Jaivime Evaristo as a new PhD student. Jaivime is joining us from the University of Pennsylvania, where he gained an MS in Applied Geosciences. His Masters thesis was funded by the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory Program of the NSF and used stable isotopes of water, carbon and nitrogen to test the ecohydrological separation (‘two water worlds’) hypothesis in the humid, tropical environment of northeastern Puerto Rico. Jaivime&#821... (full story)

AGU fall meeting 2013

... (full story)

Radio gig: discussions on the global water crisis

Jeff appeared, with Tim Burt of Durham University (UK), on North Carolina State University’s radio. The hot topic for discussion was the global freshwater crisis – what it is, why it’s a problem and how we can predict it. Jeff and Tim talked about such issues as depleting freshwater sources, agricultural pollution, groundwater recharge, and geo-political water conflicts, with perspectives from techniques such as long-term hydro-climatological data analysis and isotope hydrology... (full story)

Why Alberta's floods hit so hard and fast

Why Alberta's floods hit so hard and fast... (full story)

Lab let loose at the Gordon conference

Jeff, Julian and Anna spent last week at the Gordon Research Conference on Catchment Science in New Hampshire. It was a great week of seminars, discussion sessions and poster presentations with 100 new and old colleagues in the field of catchment science. Julian led discussions on transferability of hydrological research across temperate to tropical climates. Anna presented a poster on results of threshold runoff generation during this spring’s snowmelt at Swift Current. Meanwhile, Jeff to... (full story)

CGU is coming to Saskatoon

Next week is CGU (or, strictly speaking, the 1st Joint Scientific Congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU) and the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA), but that’s a bit of a mouthful…). This year it’s coming to Saskatoon! Various lab members and lab visitors are presenting. Scroll down for some info on what we’ll be busy talking about. Check out the conference website for the abstracts and sessions.... (full story)

New faces in the lab

The lab is a hive of activity at the moment! We’re really happy to have with us three visiting researchers (Laurent Pfister, Miguel Barrios and Ali Ameli) and a new post-doc (Sandra Timsic). Here’s the low-down on each of them and what they’ll be up to while they’re with us...  ... (full story)

Hydrology course in the Rockies

Last week, Chris and Anna handed in the last of their assignments from a two-week crash course in all things Canadian hydrology. The beginning of March saw them both at the Kananaskis Biogeosciences Institute in the Rockies for the course led by John Pomeroy (Centre for Hydrology at the U of S). John and colleagues steered them through, among other things, snow cover and prairie hydrology. With Anna hailing from the UK and Chris from the eastern United States, the course was a definite must for ... (full story)

Snowmelt sampling in Swift Current

Anna has spent the last few weeks sampling snowmelt in southern Saskatchewan at Swift Current’s Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre’s runoff plots. The melting kicked off at the end of March – an unusually late and unpredictable snowmelt – and has been stopping and starting since then, with some real gushing coming in the first week of April. Willemijn and Julian joined in the fun for a few of days, so it was all hands on deck to take snow and runoff samples.... (full story)

Congratulations Willemijn!

Last month, Willemijn returned to Wageningen University in the Netherlands to defend her PhD thesis titled “Water redistribution at the soil surface: ponding and surface runoff in flat areas”. Willemijn's thesis presents measurements and model simulations of overland flow generation in flat, well-drained, agricultural areas in temperate climate zones. The thesis was successfully defended before a committee of four researchers from the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxemburg. Congratulati... (full story)

World Water Day... and a face for radio?!

On March 22nd we celebrated World Water Day! The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of freshwater and its sustainable management. Jeff was interviewed in a slot on Korean morning radio, when he talked about freshwater crises in Sudan, China and around the world. ... (full story)